Nine local young women will compete soon for the title of Miss Merced County and scholarships along with a chance to compete at the Miss California Pageant in June.
Miss Merced County 2014 will be crowned Saturday, Jan. 18 in the El Capitan High School Performing Arts Center. The high school is located at 100 Farmland Ave. in Merced. The 39th annual competition begins at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.
Competing for Miss Merced County are Aimee Ramirez, Jessica Munday, Hailie Warnock, Lourdes Martinez, Ashley Alemen, Madysen Van Horn, Heather Theurer, Karen Khangura and Danielle Diele.
Returning to Merced County will be Miss California 2013, Crystal Lee, who was first runner-up to Miss America last September. The current Miss Merced County 2013, Nikki Schiber, will be on hand to crown the 2014 winner.
Ramirez, 18, is the daughter of Paula Diaz and Ramiro Ramirez of Merced. She is a first-year student at Merced College and will be performing a trombone solo for her talent competition.
Munday, 19, is a sophomore at San Jose State University, majoring in communications. She is the daughter of Bryan Munday of Merced and Sherry Munday of Atwater. She will be performing a contemporary dance in the talent competition.
Warnock, 17, is the daughter of Christine Warnock of Atwater. A senior at Buhach Colony High School in Atwater, she will be singing in the talent competition. She hopes to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Martinez, 17, is the daughter of Rigoberto and Maria Martinez of Atwater. She is a senior at Buhach Colony High School and intends to pursue a degree in political science. She will perform a lyrical dance for the talent competition.
Alemen, 17, is a Merced High School senior and is the daughter of Bonnie Crosby. After high school graduation, Ashley will pursue a degree in psychology. She will perform a dance for the talent competition.
Van Horn, 17, is a senior at Buhach Colony High School. She will perform a contemporary dance for her talent competition. She is the daughter of William and Miranda Van Horn of Atwater and plans on entering the nursing field upon graduation from high school.
Theurer, 19, is the daughter of Susie Fox of Atwater. She is a 2013 graduate of Buhach Colony High School and is pursuing an associate’s degree in welding. She will be performing a guitar solo for the talent competition.
Khangura, 17, is the daughter of Rajwinder and Kulwinder Khangura of Atwater. She is a senior at Buhach Colony High School and will be performing a Bollywood dance for the talent competition.
Diele, 17, is the daughter of Sam and Laura Diele. She is a senior at Golden Valley High School and will pursue a degree in agricultural law. She will perform a comedy monologue for the talent competition.
Fourteen young women from throughout the state will compete for the two open titles of Miss Sierra Nevada and Miss Yosemite Valley. This competition is open to any young woman from throughout the state. It is run in conjunction with Miss Merced County but with separate judging.
Admission is $15 per person until Jan. 12 and $20 per person after that date.
Performing for the first time as Merced County’s Outstanding Teen will be Marion Carpenter, daughter of Mike and Adelia Carpenter of Merced.
Miss Merced County is a franchise of the Miss America Organization, the largest scholarship program in he world for women. Education and community service are the main priorities of the program. Scholarships will be awarded to contestants depending upon their placement on the final night of competition.
Pre-sale tickets may be obtained from any of the contestants and committee members. For more information, call (209) 261-9363.